Coronavirus: Mental Health Resources

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With continuing uncertainty about COVID-19 and millions of Americans out of work, I know many Upstate New Yorkers and people across the country are struggling to deal with the emotional toll of this crisis. A recent study found that one-third of Americans are showing symptoms of clinical anxiety or depression amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

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I encourage everyone to do their best to take care of their psychological well-being as well as their physical health. Here are some tips on managing your mental health from the New York State Office of Mental Health:

  • Manage the ways you obtain information.  Choose to obtain news and information through trusted sources, such as state and local health authorities, the World Health Organization, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rather than relying on social media or word of mouth.
  • Practice self-care.  This includes taking care of your physical health through healthy eating, exercise, and getting adequate sleep as well as maintaining virtual relationships with friends, family, and support groups.
  • Channel anxiety into meaningful tasks.  Many find meaning in helping others during these times.  From volunteering to collect groceries for at-risk members of your community to checking in with loved ones and members of your support network, reaching out to others can help create positive feelings during trying times.
  • Practice mindfulness and monitor your anxiety levels.  Monitor your stress levels and practice grounding exercises and deep breathing when you feel your anxiety getting out of control.
  • For those receiving mental health services, work with your provider on developing a plan.  This includes discussing coping mechanisms as well as discussing telehealth options or possible supplemental mental health-focused activities. 

For more information about mental health resources, click the NYS Office of Mental Health, click HERE.

New York State is partnering with Headspace to provide free meditation and mindfulness exercises for New Yorkers. Learn more HERE

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provide tips for taking care of your emotional health which can be found HERE.

CDC provides guidelines for adults and children coping with a disaster or traumatic event which can be found HERE and HERE.

SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources. If you or someone you know needs help, please call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).